5 copywriting basics to get you started

Copywriting is fascinating isn’t it?

The idea that you could increase sales ten-fold, simply by using the right combination of words – it can seem like witchcraft. Or sophisticated manipulation, at least.

But good copywriting is really just a combination of fairly simple skills that, together, can produce incredible results.

Here are five core copywriting skills and methods, which are at the heart of everything we at Wheatleys write.

So if you’re thinking of writing your own copy, or you want to know more about what we do, start with the basics here.

1. Be honest

Ethics are important. But on top of that, customers know when you’re over-hyping a product. If you know your product is good, simply focus on telling people why. This is the key to an authentic voice that builds trust.

2. Know the customer

There are lots of things you could write about your product. How do you know which messages to lead with? The right style and tone of voice? The answer is simply: go with the option your customers would love best. Start by getting to know them.

3. Sell benefits over features

A feature is something your product has. A benefit is something it does to make the customer’s life better. So, you can see why benefits are generally more valuable in marketing. (Almost any feature can be presented as a benefit, with a little change in perspective.)

4. Get to the point fast

Everyone reads headlines. Few will read to the end of your advert, email or web page – unless you managed to get their attention in that first moment. Get your key message across as early as possible.

5. Use specifics

Product A says it can save you money. Product B says it can save you £7 per week with its patented formula. Product B will always sell more, because specifics – like statistics and quotes – feel like proof to your customers. And proof is good.

Do you have a favourite basic skill of copywriting you always rely on? Please share it in the comments so everyone can benefit.

Author: Neil Wheatley

Copywriter since 2008, owner of Wheatleys, founder/developer at the Dbljump video game reference, dad to Wolfie. Reach me on Twitter.

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